Germinating Seeds

My nursery of seedlings are growing well.  I have 2 kitty litter trays that I sit them in (not shown in picture).  Each morning I fill the tray with a cm of water this is enough to keep them moist all day, but not enough to cause rotting.  The tomatoes will be ready to plant out in a week and the basil is starting to form its first set of true leaves.  I also have my water chestnuts here (they are the dishes full of water)  Hopefully I will get them into their new home today.

For my first spring sowing I used a styrofoam box to propargate my seeds.  It worked ok, however I could not keep the moisture levels up & this lead to poor and irregular germination.  On a recent shopping trip to the hardware shop I saw a propargation kit made out of a plastic storage box!  They wanted $20 for it.

Once home I found a spare plastic box (the colour doesn’t seem to worry the seeds lol)  drilled 6 holes in the top and there you have it a Propargation Box!

I can fit 6 seedling trays in here.  At the moment I have eggplants, chillis and silverbeet  germinating.  I keep the box in a warm place on the back verandah, out of the sun.  Ocassionally the seeds need some extra water, but not very often.  As soon as the seeds have germinated they are placed into the nursery section.

A few hints for successful germinating of seedlings

  • Before I use my seedling trays I soak them overnight in a water and bleach solution.  This kills any soil bourne fungus or diseases.
  • Use fresh propargation mix everytime.  I prefer to use one that contains some fertilizer, when propargating vegetable seeds.  This gives them the head start that they need immediately & often I do not have the time to prick them out and pot them up when the poor things need it.
  • Avoid overhead watering of seeds once they have been sown.  Wet the seed raising mix before the seeds are sown.
  • Once 90% of the seeds have germinated & have there seed leaves up I place them in a shady spot in my nursery trays (aka kitty litter trays)
  • Do not let your seedlings get leggy, this leads to weak and disease prone plants.  Get them out into the sun as soon as possible.  However do not immediately place them out into the full sun.  Shade them under another plant or put them out on an overcast day.

Happy sowing!


One thought on “Germinating Seeds

  1. This was really helpful for me to read, so thanks for blogging about it. I recently purchased some herb seeds and didn’t quite know how to “keep” the moisture up, as they recommended in the instructions. I never seem to have luck with my over-turned softdrink bottles, and you have to use a large pot so you end up having to separate all the delicate seedlings.

    Again, thanks for the cheap ideas and taking it through to the final stages of hardening off. All these steps are important, and if you don’t know about them something always goes wrong.

    I’m off to find some plastic containers around the house. 🙂

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